Tuesday, November 21
“Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
1Sa 7:12 NKJV
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAMSON AND SAMUEL (4)
Difference four: Accountability. Samson had an independent attitude and refused to be accountable to anyone else. He was a “lone ranger” who refused to work with others. And his erratic attempts at deliverance caused the Philistines to tax God’s people more and make their burdens heavier. Samuel, on the other hand, worked in consensus with others. When he prayed and God gave Israel a spectacular victory over their enemies, he refused to take any of the credit. “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpeh and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us.’” Samson was “me” focused, but Samuel was “us” focused. The Psalmist said, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity…for there the Lord commanded the blessing” (Ps 133:1, 3 NKJV). The secret of walking in God’s blessing is not to operate alone, but cooperate with others. That’s how the New Testament church did it. “When they had further threatened them, they let them go…And being let go, they went to their own companions” (Ac 4:21, 23 NKJV). When the apostles came under attack, “they went to their own companions.” They had relationships in place with those who knew how to advise and guide them, strengthen and encourage them, pray and share God’s Word with them. You need such relationships too! And you can’t afford to wait until trouble comes before you establish them. Do it now, in the good times, and they’ll be there for you in the bad times.
Wednesday, November 22
“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people.’”
Jer 15:1 NKJV
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAMSON AND SAMUEL (5)
Difference five: Prayer. The Bible records only two occasions when Samson prayed: first, when he thought he was dying of thirst and needed water (Jdg 15:18); second, in the last moments of his life when he’d lost everything and ended up in prison (See Jdg 16:28). He was like the little boy who was asked, “Do you say your prayers every night?” He replied, “No; sometimes I don’t need anything.” On the other hand the Bible says, “Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel” (1Sa 12:18 NKJV). One of the greatest tributes given to anyone in Scripture was spoken by God concerning Samuel’s prayer life: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people.’” Such is the “clout” Samuel had with God! The Bible also has much to say about the prayer life of Jesus. Sometimes He prayed all through the night; other times He was up praying before dawn. It was the secret of His effectiveness in ministry. He made regular deposits in prayer so He could make regular withdrawals of power when He needed it. And you’ll notice that He seldom prayed for anyone He healed. Why? Because He’d already spent time in prayer. Old-timers in church used to refer to this as “staying prayed up.” And it’s the secret of victorious Christian living.